Today: Amber Brooks, naturalist at Blue Mounds State Park in Luverne, Minn.

Reading

I have been reading a lot about how to make education more accessible to people from different cultures and how different cultures have different perspectives on education. I am working on my master’s degree in environmental education and trying to learn more about programming for diverse audiences so that everyone has a place in the outdoors.

Following

I’m very interested in groups that are working to bring awareness to climate change and the severity of the problems we face in the near-term. I often work with kids. It is always on my mind that my choices today are their future, so I try to stay up to date with climate change policy and science.

I'm interested in how art is being used to connect people to climate change. Plan It Change10 is a group started by podcast hosts that uses art to help people express their fears and hopes about climate change, to connect and inspire people to action. Humans naturally are attracted to creating and consuming art, whether it's visual, audio, etc. This group is tapping into that and building community -- something many of us are missing in 2019.

Watching

I’m spending a lot of my free time watching and listening for western chorus frogs. I have always had trouble spotting them in the wild, but this year has been the first I have been able to spot them. I find frogs fascinating. Seeing a frog call is one of the coolest experiences I think someone can have. I also have been looking for and capturing snakes at the park, looking for rare species. I’m interested in our ecology and what species we have represented at Blue Mounds.

Listening

I love podcasts about almost any topic whether it’s nature, pop culture, news or music. I have always enjoyed learning and find historical podcasts help me through long drives! “Stuff you Missed in History Class” is one podcast. If you are not listening to it and you like history, you should definitely get on!

Doing

I love taking photos of wildlife. I’ve photographed everything from the bison calves here at the park to the frogs. I’ve spent many an afternoon sitting on the edge of marshland with wet boots trying to take a photo of a calling frog for the last couple of weeks.